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  #11  
Old 02-09-2018, 11:51 PM
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Bullseye Bullseye is offline
 
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Post Title: Started on the Practice Kit
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Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:54:10 +0000

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Today, I started on the practice kit. The directions point back to (and the kit actually includes) sections 3 and 5 of the construction manual. I threw my extra copies away, I'm going to just keep the ones from the Preview Plans I have.

The kit tells you to make some useful tools before starting. I found 3: A wooden hand seamer, a stand for your practice kit (basically a place to clamp the front spar so the skins stand up vertically) and an assembly with an 11 inch long piece of angle riveted (with various rivets) to two more pieces of 2.25" x 11" aluminum sheet. I'm not sure if this is a useful tool or just something to rivet before starting the pretend control surface. Hmm... I'll make it nonetheless for the practice. I'm going to pass on the hand seamer, but get started on the other two.

Interesting note, the directions tell you that if you don't have dents, scratches, and mistakes on your practice kit, you aren't doing it right. Apparently, they want me to get out all of the mistakes now before I start on the real airplane. Right...

Here's a picture of everything that comes in the kit.
Everything that comes in the kit.

Closeup of the Hardware><
Closeup of the skins.


I didn't get very far on the practice kit. I made it through step one, which is to drill the weird angle assembly in 24 places for the appropriate flush and blind rivets of various sizes. Even the practice kit is going to be slow going. I did learn a ton, though.
<ol>
<li>Everything is so tiny. I've been staring at picture on all the build sites, thinking things were bigger. The -3-3 rivets are TINY! The skins are a lot thinner than I thought they would be.</li>
<li>Don't take the blue off the skins if you don't want to scratch the skins. I thought my workbench was clean, but after deburring one of the small sheets, there were small pieces of aluminum everywhere. I slid one of the sheets on the table and scratched the **** out of it.</li>
<li>My cheap clamps are nice, but not perfect. I'll need to get some higher quality ones. Also, I need to use the duct tape on the clamp face trick. They scratched the **** out of the sheet, too.</li>
<li>I had to measure, mark, and drill the holes. No big deal, but I just noted that they really have you jump right in. I drilled into a spare piece of MDF I had laying around, but I didn't drill far enough, so the clecos don't have a fantastic grip. Oh well.</li>
<li>I played around with pressure on the bit while drilling. I learned as a kid that when you have the spiral piece of metal coming off in one piece as you drill, that is the right pressure (which wasn't that much more than the air drill itself). Anyone have any other advice?</li>
<li>I learned that building is not going to be a piece of cake, but is going to be a lot of fun. That's kind of a fluffy statement, but it's true.</li>
</ol>
Here's the picture of what I got done last night.
Step one. Drill appropriate holes. Don't make fun of my erroneous markings. The instructions said I have to make mistakes on this practice kit, and not the real airplane, so I made sure there were some errors.


Also, I had to cleco the skin to the end ribs. I don't know why, but I wanted to do it. I promise not to skip steps in the future.
Top skin cleco'd to the end ribs.


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Andrew Z.
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RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
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Wings...Halfway complete.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2018, 11:55 PM
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Post Title: Finished the first assembly in the Practice Kit
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Wed, 30 Sep 2009 03:04:28 +0000

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Tonight, I finished the first assembly in the practice kit. Only a few notes, and some lessons learned.

Big lessons learned:

•The soldering iron leaves a mark if you aren't careful, be gentle, and go slow enough that it melts the vinyl.
•Deburring holes was very easy, even with just an oversize drill bit.
•Buy a nice countersink. I faked it with a drill bit, and the results will not be acceptable on the real project.
•Less scratches tonight, but still a lot. I need to get some scotchbrite pads and self-etching primer to rehearse the prep and priming phases.
•I want to experiment with priming before dimpling. I've heard people have had good results (said another way, no bad results due to priming a weirdly angled surface in the dimple.)

I got out the soldering gun and tried my hand at removing the vinyl covering in a straight line.

MY FIRST RIVET. AN426AD3-3. It is so beautiful.

Three more rivets. I squeezed and bucked with flush and cupped sets. I am using a 4X gun, which means I had the pressure all the way down to 20 psig. It worked really well for the AD3s, but I might need more pressure for the AD4-4s.

The final (and blurry) product. It's probably for the best that you can't see the fingerprints and scratches on it.


I am very happy that I did this part of the practice kit first. Now I know how to proceed on the real kit, and nothing with drilling, deburring, dimpling, countersinking, or riveting will be new to me, even on the practice kit. (I plan on displaying the practice kit prominently, so it better look good.)

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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2018, 10:50 PM
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Post Title: Practice Kit - Stiffeners and Skins
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Wed, 30 Sep 2009 18:08:12 +0000

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I started on the real practice kit today. First, you have to make the stiffeners. Easy as pie, except the stock I got in my kit was cut short by about 1/2" in each case. I got two shorter sections, the kit shows it comes as one long piece. Maybe George gave me some extra that was laying around. No biggie, but that's why in the pictures below the stiffeners are different lengths. Then I edge prepped the stiffeners, ribs, spar, and skins. I also practiced using the soldering iron some more, with pretty decent results. Here's a shot of the stiffeners and skins ready to match-drill.
Skins and stiffeners ready for match-drilling.


And the stiffeners match-drilled to the skins...
Match-drilled and cleco'ed.


After this, I assembled the skeleton, matchrilled both skins to the ribs, spar, and trailing edge wedge, then disassembled everything. It got late, so I stopped after getting all the holes deburred. Here's a shot of the skeleton clamped together, ready for drilling.
One of the skins, primed and de-blued. Stiffeners, doublers, trailing edge wedge, spar, and ribs ready to rivet.


<div>
Stiffeners, doublers, trailing edge wedge, spar, and ribs ready to rivet.


</div>
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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2018, 10:51 PM
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Post Title: Practice Kit - Riveting
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Fri, 02 Oct 2009 18:45:28 +0000

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I started riveting today. I got the skeleton riveted together and back-riveted then stiffeners to the skins.



I'll try to finish up tonight, but I need to figure out a way to dimple the ribs near the trailing edges. I should probably follow the directions and fabricate the special dimpling tool described in the plans. Off to the hardware store for some steel...

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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid

Last edited by Bullseye : 02-13-2018 at 10:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:24 PM
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Post Title: Practice Kit - Finished
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Sun, 04 Oct 2009 13:55:40 +0000

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Sunday morning, I managed to finish off the practice kit. Here are the pictures.
Here are the skins riveted to the spar. Notice how I didn't make the jig to hold it to the table.

Another shot of the skins riveted to the spar.

The finished product.


Overall, I am happy with the results. I don't think they are airplane worthy (I don't know if I will ever be happy with the final product), but I feel like I am ready to start on the real kit. All of the riveting came out nice, but some of the other aspects (dimpling, countersinking, edge rolling) are still not up to par.

Biggest lesson so far:

1) Go slow, take your time, read the plans, and be careful.
2) The skins don't look too bad, but I have a feeling there will be too many scratches to polish the final airplane. I'm planning on paint anyway, so I should be okay.
3) Other things, I want to acquire some of the tank dimple dies for the understructure. Some of the skin to rib seams didn't sit as nicely as I wanted, and I think the slightly deeper dimples in the ribs will accept the dimple in the skin better.
4) Buy a bigger backriveting plate. I just have a 1 x1/2 x 36 inch steel stock. I had to be really careful to keep the rivets lined up. With a wider plate, I wouldn't' have had to move the skin around, which caused...
5) ...scratches in the skin. Next time I removed the vinyl from the skin, I am going to immediately replace it with painters tape. All of the scratches on the skin are where I removed the vinyl. This can be prevented.
6) Priming. Using the self-etching primer is so easy, I think I may do all of the interior skin next time ( I only primed the rivet lines, where two pieces of metal would meet this time).
7) I need a no-hole yoke for the rivets near the rear of the trailing edge. I managed with a thin bucking bar, but I didn't like the results. A no-hole would make this a non-issue.

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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:26 PM
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Post Title: More dreaming of paint schemes
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Fri, 30 Oct 2009 13:45:40 +0000
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Well, I haven't posted in a week or two, because I am waiting for my airplane piggy bank to grow enough to buy an empennage kit. In the mean time, I have been practicing drilling out rivets on the practice kit and dreaming of some more paint schemes. Here are some of my current thoughts about what I would like to end up with. If any of these are your pictures and you would like credit (or for me to take them down), please let me know, and I will kindly oblige. Otherwise, take the compliment.

At this point, I am contemplating doing a little polishing on my airplane. have to paint all the fiberglass, though, so maybe black would look good...

Looks like this first airplane is owned by William R Cloughley. Well done, Mr. Cloughley.
N18LC - Right><
N18LC - Right Rear Quartering><

Dec 25th update:

I bet some of you noticed I ordered 3/16" clecos instead of 3/32" When the box arrived, I was sure that the Yard had made a mistake, but I quickly realized the mistake was mine. After some research, I figured out I won't need that many 3/16" clecos, so it owuld be best if I could exchange them. Luckily, I was headed to Wichita the very next day for a wedding, and the Yard is conveniently located in Wichita.

Note: It is possible to bring a bag of 50 3/16" clecos in a carry-on through airport security. Be prepared: the TSA will ask you why you are trying to bring bullets on the airplane. Ask me how I know.

When I was able to sneak away from the wedding festivities and make it to the Yard, the guy behind the counter didn't have any problem with me exchanging for the right size. He even pointed out that I might want to go with used. Skeptically, I inspected a bag of 100 used 3/32" clecos, and was satisfied with their quality. (Only saw a few with pro-seal on them.) at $0.25 a piece, I saved a bunch of money. Ha.

January update: Later, I saw that some of the clecos are stubby clecos, and some are unusable. I've gone through every one and thrown out about 10% of them. I will probably stick with new clecos from now on. If nothing else, they look better in the pictures for you guys.

Anyway, let me get back to my Christmas. Oh, and Merry Christmas.
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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:27 PM
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Post Title: Automatic Compressor Drain Kit
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Mon, 14 Dec 2009 02:23:55 +0000
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This afternoon (after a lot of research), I stopped by Harbor Freight and bought the Automatic Compressor drain kit.
Avery tool order that came in. Wuhoo! Apparently I had already put away the pop rivet dimplers. Sorry. They come in a little plastic baggy about the size of the drill stop bags with about 6 extra nails in it.

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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:28 PM
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Post Title: Picked up empennage, inventoried
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Wed, 30 Dec 2009 03:45:55 +0000
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Well, I'm officially a homebuilder.

After checking FedEx's tracking website, I saw that they tried to deliver the boxes on Christmas Eve, then again on the 28th and today, the 29th. I arrived home yesterday from the Keys around 5pm, so while enroute, I called fedex to have hen hold the packages at the local facility.

When I got to FedEx, they found the smaller package, but insisted it was the only one. "Hmm, usually they ship them together. Guy said, "if there were two, there would be a '1 of 2' on the label."

"You sure? Van's charged me for shipping both packages." (Although, you may remember that the tracking number online indicated only one package.)

"Positive."

Huh.

When I got home, I checked the fedex exception slip on the door and sure enough, the driver indicated there were two packages. I drove back out to the FedEx place and pointed this out.

"Oh yeah, we saw another (bigger) package with 'high dollar aircraft parts" on it, is that yours?"

Grrr.

He continued. "You should have said something when you were here before."

Grrr.

I can't complain too much, they tried to get me my tail kit on Christmas eve, so thank you to FedEx. Also, I'll give Van's some credit for beating their estimate.

Anyway, I got them home. Because I was gone for the last week, we did Christmas tonight. (Girlfriend, Jack (black lab/Italian greyhound), and Ginger (German shephard/American staffordshire terrier) all exchanged gifts.)

I slapped a bow on each kit, and Jack gave me one, and Ginger gave me the other. Thanks, pups, for the gifts. (How did you guys wrap those boxes without any thumbs? "It was ruff," Jack said. Ha. Dog joke.) I managed to get away with this because the girlfriend got a trip to a Central American country from Ginger, so the airplane was not a big deal.

Here are the two boxes on my workbench.
Boxes on the workbench.


Here's the stuff from the 1st subkit.
1st subkit unpacked><

And the second subkit.
Second subkit><

Here are the fiberglass tips (I can't remember if this is the third subkit or not.)
Fiberglass empennage tips.


And then all the paper from the whole kit. (I left the boxes out of the picture.)
That's a lot of paper.


I'm counting the inventory hours as build hours, because of the organization and learning part. Some people don't count them, but I think it is an important part of the process. 1.5 hours.
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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:55 AM
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Post Title: Rear Spar, Front Spar
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Wed, 30 Dec 2009 22:47:16 +0000
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Well, I finally started today. First thing I did was break the corners of the HS-609PP. I used my grinder, which did a good job, but got clogged with aluminum pretty quickly. I think my next big investment will be a bandsaw.
The requisite shot of before and after rounding edges.


Then I removed the blue vinyl from the rear spars (HS-603PP) and clecoed the 609s to the 603s. To do this, I needed to increase the radius of the 609s that rests against the web/flange intersection of the 603s. No big deal. Once I did this, they fit great. I didn't finish the edge prep on the 609s, I'll do this prior to priming everything. Then, I match-drilled all the holes, including enlarging the HS-708/HS-603PP (inboard rib attachment) holes to #21.
Rear spar reinforcements clecoed to Rear spar channels. It's starting to look like an airplane? Ha.


It was a little late to be running the power tools, so instead, I marked the bend lines on the HS-702 front spar channels. This takes some careful measurement and marking, so take your time.
I also marked the bend lines on the front spar channels. (HS-702)><

Then, I strayed from the plans a little. They have you use a 1/8" bit to create a notch relief hole, then enlarge to 1/4" using a unibit. I used snips and then a file. The second one turned out better than the first (which I hear is pretty common on everything in the project), and I had some trouble making them look perfect. (I know, things don't have to be perfect, but it bugs me, anyway.) Biggest lesson learned: cut the flange in the correct place first, then unbend the flange to give you more material to work with. You can see in the top one in the picture below that I didn't do this, and had to taper into the bend relief notch. (The bottom one below is better, nice straight line back to the relief notch.)
Finished HS-702 shaping with bend relief notches.


Then I bent HS-710, HS-714, and both HS-702s. I created a cardboard template using trigonometry. I took the tangent of 6 degrees. Which is a little over 0.1. (This means fromthe bend line, for every inch you go laterally, the angle will be just over 0.1 inches up.) That's a little hard to measure, so I took the inverse (to figure out how many inches laterally I need to go for 1 inch up), and got just over 9.5 inches. I have a calibrated 6 inch ruler, so I divided by two, and ended up with mike's numbers; 4.75" over, and 0.5" up.

Now that I have my template for six degrees, let's get bending.

After trying a few methods in the vise, I ended up just lining up my bend line with the edge if the table, holding a wooden block over the piece, and putting a little pressure on it. If you go slowly, you can get 6 degrees pretty dead nuts on. I laid everything on top of eachother, and it all lined up very nicely.

Lastly, I finished the front spar section by dimpling the HS-702s, and countersinking (first ever countersink!) the HS-710 and HS-714 for the center two holes only. Remember, flush rivets go on the aft side here, so the countersink and the male dimple die go from back to front.
Countersunk HS-710 and HS-714, dimpled HS-702.


A solid 5.5 hours today.
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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:56 AM
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Post Title: More HS work
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Fri, 01 Jan 2010 00:16:04 +0000
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First thing in the morning, I had to run some errands, one of which included a stop by Harbor Freight to exchange my Automatic Compressor Drain Kit that had a crack in it. While I was there, I used two coupons. One, for a free tape measure, the other for almost half off a 6" digital caliper. Walked out the door with a new caliper, tape measure, and an exchanged drain kit for $10. Can't beat that.
Free tape measure at Harbor Freight. Also a coupon for 1/2 off a $20 digital caliper.


I went ahead and scotchbrited all the HS ribs. I was sick of the aluminum dust on my hands during scotchbriting, so I took these inside and did them with warm water (only reason for warm was so my hands didn't get cold) in the kitchen sink. Worked well with a lot less dust. (Also, I think showing pictures of my work with finished pieces looks a lot better than the original parts, which are all shiny and finger-printy after my grubby hands work with them.)
Surface prepped HS ribs.


Then, the directions have you cleco the left skeleton together.
It looks like an airplane! Kind of.


Then you get to cleco on the skin (wuhoo!). I had trouble with HS-707 here. the very tip of the rib kind of caught on the skin (vinyl); I had to really work to get it back into position and clecoed. you can see here I clecoed every hole on the HS-707.
Clecoed on the left HS-601 skin.


Then I inserted the HS-404 (front inboard) and HS-405 (rear inboard) ribs and clamp. Here, you can see the HS-405 clamped.
Inserted HS-404 and HS-405 for match drilling.


Then I match-drilled the HS-405 to the HS-601PP (skin). I didn't do the top or bottom forward most hole, because I seem to be having edge distance troubles on the HS-405 and HS-702 spar. I checked everything and it seems to be right. I checked some other build sites to see if other people have run into this, no one mentioned it. Right as I was going to post a question on the Prev | Next
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Andrew Z.
Engineering Flight Test Pilot/Engineer, CFI-A, CFII
RV-7 in work (See my build log.)
Empennage...Done (except rebuilding the rudder.)
Wings...Halfway complete.
2018 Dues Paid
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